Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 6/25/2008 01:35:00 PM

Small Software Company Sues Google - Alleges Trade Secret Theft

By Todd
LimitNone, a small software development company, is seeking nearly $1 billion in damages in a lawsuit that accuses Google of reneging on a partnership with the small company and misappropriating its trade secrets for its Google Apps online service.

The tiny five-person startup claims it entered into a confidentiality agreement with Google in March 2007 to share its trade secrets with Google's engineers, salespeople and certain key prospective Google Apps customers. LimitNone claims Google then told it last December that it would develop the software itself, shutting the startup out of its major business opportunity.

LimitNone claims it designed an email migration tool called "Gmove" in collaboration with Google, that Google's free "Email Uploader" that it launched earlier this year is "almost identical" to Gmove and that "both operate under a similar conceptual design."

"With gMove priced at $19 per copy and Google's prediction that there were potentially 50 million users, Google deprived LimitNone of a $950 million opportunity by offering Google's competitive product for free as a part of its 'premier' Google Apps package," the lawsuit, filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois.

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